There are many people who are afraid of the rise of Artificial Intelligence. I’m one of them and you might be too. I didn’t know anything about AI until recently and have since given it a lot of thought as it brought up fears around our security and our future. Over the last few months, I’ve been set on looking at things from different points of view in an attempt to ease my mind. In this series of posts I will share my journey with you and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’ll introduce you to AI in case you don’t know much about it, explain why there is cause for concern, and share how I’m doing the best I can to make peace with my fears. In this post I share what got me started looking into AI and why I decided to write this series.
My Fear of the Unknown and the Known.
They say we fear what we don’t understand, and I think there’s a lot of truth to that.
I also think the same can be said about things we know too much of. At least that’s been my experience when it comes to my anxieties and the paranoia I’ve felt in my life. There have been, and from time to time still are, moments in my life where I feel like I wish I hadn’t heard, watched, or learned something I was curious about. In these moments another saying comes to mind: curiosity killed the cat.
Recently, I’ve been learning about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and I discovered that both of these fears – the fear of the unknown and known – were true, and both rose to the surface as I learned more about it.
Curious to Know More.
Originally when it came to AI, I was in the land of bliss. The kind that ignorance brings. I didn’t know anything about it until a few months ago. Around that time I was searching for some calm in the storm of the news and looking for the good in humanity. In my search I would see thumbnails on AI in my YouTube feed and it peaked my curiosity. Little did I know that I’d be opening up the Pandora’s Box of my deepest anxieties and fears.
In my curiosity, I watched a number of Ted Talks and other interviews by experts in the AI field and I saw some of the cool things that are out there and coming up. I listened to different predictions of what’s to come and have a deeper appreciation for what AI is all about. It was fascinating.
Why Am I Writing About Artificial Intelligence?
I never thought I would write a blog series on Artificial Intelligence. For one, I don’t really consider myself a techie. I also wondered if this was even relevant to this channel, one meant to share my own lived experience with mental health. So, there were moments while I was writing these posts that I asked myself why was I writing about Artificial Intelligence.
As I kept learning and writing, I realized that there were a number of good reasons for doing so. I realized that seeing what AI could do, how people are responding to it, what governments and militaries are doing with it, and what is in store for our future – that some of that was not only making me uncomfortable it was also scaring me.
I started to see that this was impacting my mental health and at times causing me stress, which was a good thing. It inspired me to work through some of my insecurities and fears. To see if I could relate to these emotions in a healthier way, and I can say that I’m finding ways to make peace with my fears although some are still there.
I know I’m not the only one who is scared of what AI technologies could do to us. You might be too. So, I wanted to share it with you in case that’s something you can relate to. Considering that big tech guys like Elon Musk and Bill Gates worry about it and are even losing sleep over it there seems to be good cause for concern.
Another Intelligence is Emerging Besides Artificial Intelligence.
The inspiration to write this series really came from an idea of wanting to share a perspective that I didn’t often hear about when I was learning about AI, especially when I was listening to predictions for our future. I felt that there was a missing piece in the puzzle that was not being accounted for when it came time to predicting the future of humanity.
There is another intelligence that is emerging alongside artificial intelligence. It too will shape our future in significant ways, at least I think so, and I’ve decided to write about it separately after this series.
Being Paranoid of the Future is No Way To Live.
After going through psychosis, and having experienced paranoia during that time, I found that there are moments where my mind still goes there. I have moments where I get overwhelmed by something I’ve learned or start playing out doomsday scenarios in my mind. Scenarios that are remote in both space and time from where I stand.
In those moments it’s an uncomfortable feeling, one of getting knots in my stomach, tense in my body, and a rush of thoughts swirl in mind of all that not only could, but will go wrong. For the last few months I’ve noticed that these moments came up more often as I was learning about the world through the news and learning about Artificial Intelligence.
Feeling vulnerable and scared of the future is no way to live. At least I’m determined to shift my focus and see the brighter side of things. I think that’s one of the main reasons why in my last few posts here on headversity I’ve been trying to make sense of the world and searching for hope in the future. In doing so I’ve learned that there is a lot of good out there. I just have to look for it.
Understanding My Paranoia When it Comes to AI.
You may also experience paranoia and even have the same fears I do about AI and our future. Perhaps this series of posts can help ease some of your own fears, even if by just a little.
For those of you who can’t relate or don’t understand my fears, perhaps once I give you their context will understand why I have mine. But, before I do, it might be good to introduce you to some of the basics of Artificial Intelligence in case you need an update. I will introduce it to you in the next post.
Does Artificial Intelligence scare you too? Can you relate to psychosis or paranoia? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading this post.